Thursday, 23 May 2019

I’m Still Here

Yes, I am still here... both virtually in this little online space and physically in our house still waiting to move. 

I enjoy writing this blog and if there are a few of you out there enjoying it too then it makes it worthwhile. Especially if I can read and comment on your blogs too, should you happen to write one. The interaction with others makes it feel like a conversation. But it has become increasingly more difficult to leave comments on some of my favourite blogs. There have been times when I have typed out a comment three or four times but each time I hit the publish button, the comment disappears... which is so frustrating! And I know others are having the same problem so it does feel like being in an isolated bubble. So just saying I am reading, I'm still here ... and I would comment if I could!

We're still here waiting to move too. It was meant to be this Friday but contracts haven't been exchanged and so it looks like completion date will be pushed back once again to next week... or later possibly... possibly not. After what feels like months of clearing out we have got rid of furniture and possessions so we are now living with empty rooms and boxes, which is very unsettling.

But we are trying to carry on as normal as best as we can. I'm doing lots of reading but I'm finding it increasingly difficult to concentrate and stay focused when I read, although to be fair those late night ten minutes before nodding off are probably not the ideal time for retaining information. I frequently have to reread what I've already read!

The were a couple of books for our reading group lately that I didn't really enjoy. Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwen is a spy story set in 1972. The female voice of the narrator, Serena just never rang true for me, which actually made sense by the end of the book so may have been a very cleverly written ploy. (Trying not to give a spoiler here) But there seemed little point revealing something clever at the end if it didn't resonate all the way through. Our latest Reading group book was Everything Under by Daisy Johnson, a retelling of the Oedipus story which I just found too weird and complicated. I didn't even get the Oedipus connection! It did lead to a really good discussion though  and the group were strongly divided in our opinions.

I picked up The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul in our phone box lending library. I thought it would be a light easy read, which I suppose it was but it felt like it had pretensions to be something more. It tackled heavy subjects such as the Taliban and the role of women in Afghanistan but I felt the story was too lightweight to carry them off. And then I picked up the first Rebus story by Ian Rankin... surely Ian Rankin could take me away from my busy head but I didn't particularly enjoy that either. Rebus is a bit too morose and dour for me, although I'm willing to give him another chance, which is just as well as I think I may have packed another half dozen or so Rebus novels.  I was despairing of picking up a book that I would enjoy, ever again... until I found this. Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney. I found the writing intelligent and concise as it builds the story of Frances and Bobbi, students who have been friends since school. It's about flawed characters and complicated relationships and I found it refreshingly different to what I had been reading.

I actually bought this in a bookshop, rather than on-line or picking it up in the phone box and had a pleasant surprise. Inside someone had tucked a little folded homemade book. With a bit of research I found it was the work of some Anglia Ruskin students who claim to be "celebrating the ordinary" by posting these little newspapers around Cambridge.

A fun thing to do that brought a smile to my face!

There are more books piled up at the side of my bed. I'd like to think we will have moved before I get through these but at the rate we're going it seems unlikely.

Meanwhile we are trying to carry on as normally as possible and on the plus side every nook and cranny of this house is getting sorted out and cleared... nothing is safe! That includes the food cupboards too. Baking has involved using up store cupboard ingredients... goodness knows how long the tin of pineapple had been there but as it was just about in date it got put into these tropical fruit muffins along with a packet of coconut.

The six egg whites I found in the freezer were used to make blueberry friands. I have no idea what the yolks were used for but the freezer is now empty and the cupboards are bare so I hope we move soon!

Wishing you a happy bank holiday weekend here in the UK. I hope by the next time I write something it won't be from here but will be from somewhere else... but I'm not holding my breath! I'm now going to read some blogs... and apologise now for not leaving a comment!


  1. I always enjoy reading your blog and your Instagram page. Hope your contracts go through soon.

  2. It is so awful waiting for contracts to be exchanged, and I have often wondered what the holdup it. Hope your stay of limbo is soon over and glad you have plenty of books to keep you going. What a lovely idea to tuck a little handmade booklet into a book for someone to find. I scrolled past the gorgeous baking items as I am being very good at present and the pounds are steadily creeping off. I always enjoy your blog posts so do keep writing them, and thankyou for your lovely comment on mine.

  3. That should of course read 'state' of limbo!

  4. I found using Chrome meant I could finally comment! It’s Safari and Google having the spat me thinks. I have everything crossed your move is sooner rather than later. You sound calm and collected but I bet inside your a bit grrrr.

  5. Wishing you the best with your move. Love friands which reminds me I haven’t made any for ages. Love Patrick Gale books but I haven’t read that one, so another for my list. Just read The Salt Path which was very inspiring and beautifully descriptive of the South West coastpath. B x

  6. Thanks for the gen on your recent reads. It's my turn to nominate some choices for our next book club read, so I'll take a look at Sally Rooney. I read Swet Tooth a while back and enjoyed it up to a point, but agree it was not entirely convincing. I've been listening to lots of audio books and, yes, I fall asleep after ten minutes and wake up later with no idea what happened!

    Fingers crossed for the move.

  7. Don't know how you manage to read or bake with all the upheaval - just confirms my theory that you have a Superwoman logo tattooed somewhere out of sight from all but your nearest and dearest! Hope the move happens soon and fairly painlessly. Terry x

  8. Fingers crossed that your move happens sooner rather than later. It’s not easy being in a state of limbo. As some other people have mentioned, it may be your browser causing problems with comments. I found that, if I was using my phone, I could only comment if I use Opera. No idea why! But such is technology! 😆

  9. Fingers crossed it is all happening soon. It must be so stressful, waiting and not knowing for sure where you are going to live in a week's time.

    I noticed that the re-writing of Greek myths is very trendy. It started with Madeline Millers Circe, which I absolutely loved. She also wrote Song of Achilles, which I also loved. She is a classics scholar, which for me makes it ok to have a bash at a modern interpretation of the myths. I have to admit that I have not read any other authors though so should probably not go on a mini rant here :-)

    I found a solution to my problem with posting comments: I completely cleared my cookies and history, which solved the problem, I can now comment on all but one blog. It was purely accidental, I just wanted to speed up my browser... Maybe it works for you, too? I am still copying each comment in my clipboard at the off chance a comment disappears (better safe than sorry).

    Good luck with the move! xx

  10. Fingers crossed for your move. I've been reading too many gloomy books recently, so have taken up true escapism, a fantasy series, Robin Hobb at the recommendation of my sons ( 23 and 21), starting with "Assassin's apprentice".

  11. Hope the house move happens very soon for you. (Actually, I'm quite envious of your empty rooms.) At least you have books and cakes. I picked up Normal People in the supermarket yesterday but put it back on the shelf as the book pile here is ridiculous (though it didn't stop me adding to it at a meet the author event last night). Have a good weekend.

  12. Hopefully your move will happen soon Gina ... those muffins look delicious!!

  13. Well I just just that comment, but I think it was my computer at fault, not Blogger. I do hope you can move soon, or you will have to start restocking those cupboards again!
    I love the sound of some of those books you have found. I used to love the Rebus stories, but lately like you, I have found him too gloomy. I have moved on to the Shetland series by Ann Cleeves and am enjoying them much better. XXX

  14. Sigh, that waiting, and waiting, is hard.
    I tend to alternate the books I read, between thoughtful and fluff. Currently skimming thru some fluff.

  15. Gina, how do you do it? I think you are an amazing person. I am going to try the book you enjoyed. I have read (well read one, listened to the audiobook version of the other as I embroidered)which I really enjoyed - the one I listened to is Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche - just fabulous. The other one was The Pianist of Yarmouk by Aeham Ahmad.
    Hope it's not long before you are in your new nest.

    1. Thank you Erica, such a kind thing to say. Thanks too for the book recommendations.

  16. Are your still there? I was in France, without internet, and am just catching up with everyone's blogging.

    I do hope that your move happens soon and smoothly. And you know how much I enjoy readng your posts! xx

  17. Just starting to pay my poor neglected blog-viewing some attention... so nice to find you're still here! I must actually get back in the swing of posting too. I miss the community it brings.

  18. Useful article, thank you for sharing the article!!!

    Website: giúp bạn giải đáp bash là gì hay bash idol là gì và nhiều thông tin hữu ích


I love getting your comments and I love to read what you have to say so thank you for taking the time! I reply when I can by email... or if you are a no reply blogger, then I sometimes post a reply in the comments.